Kiefer Ravena, Gilas look to pick up the pieces ahead of China clash


Gilas Pilipinas huddles up during a game against South Sudan in the Fiba World Cup classification. -MARLO CUETO/

MANILA, Philippines—Gilas Pilipinas still couldn’t catch a break in the 2023 Fiba World Cup tournament after losing big to South Sudan in the classification phase on Thursday at Araneta Coliseum.

So when Kiefer Ravena was asked about the team’s morale after a winless record four games into the global tilt, the veteran guard did not sugarcoat anything.

“To be honest, morale-wise, it’s not really that good. Trying to keep it afloat, everybody. We’re 12 guys trying to help one another, pick ourselves up,” said Ravena after an 87-68 loss to South Sudan.

“Obviously, as a person and as a competitor, you don’t want to lose, so when you do, your morale really drops.”

During the post-game interviews, Ravena asked which team won in the battle between Japan, which leads the race for the lone Asian berth to next year’s Paris Olympics, and Venezuela.

Gilas Pilipinas Fiba World Cup

Gilas Pilipinas against South Sudan in the Fiba World Cup classification. -MARLO CUETO/

When Ravena found out that Japan beat Venezuela, 86-77, he shrugged it off and immediately accepted the outcome.

With Gilas still has a game in the World Cup, Ravena thinks it’s best to focus on Saturday’s clash with the Chinese first before looking ahead to the Olympic Qualifying Tournament.

“OQT, I think, is next to give ourselves a chance over there (Olympics). [We’ll] see where it goes but at this point, reaching for the stars or looking at the picture is not really in consideration right now.”

“What we’re about to do is focus on the next 48 hours and see where it goes.”

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